The New Oasis

A Libyan Novel

Ibrahim al-Koni
Translated byWilliam M. Hutchins

Upon the death of their leader, a group of Tuareg nomads in the Sahara Desert turns to the heir dictated by tribal custom; however, he is a poet reluc

English edition
166 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774166488
For sale only in the Middle East

$18.95

Upon the death of their leader, a group of Tuareg nomads in the Sahara Desert turns to the heir dictated by tribal custom; however, he is a poet reluctant to don the mantle of leadership. Forced by tribal elders to abandon not only his poetry but his love, who is also a poet, he reluctantly serves as leader. Whether by human design or the meddling of the Spirit World, his death inspires his tribe to settle down permanently, abandoning not only nomadism but also the inherited laws of the tribe. The community they found, New Waw, which they name for the mythical paradise of the Tuareg people, is also the setting of Ibrahim al-Koni’s companion novel, The Puppet. For al-Koni, this Tuareg tale of the tension between nomadism and settled life represents a choice faced by people everywhere, in many walks of life, as a result of globalism. He sees an inevitable interface between myth and contemporary life.

Ibrahim al-Koni

Ibrahim al-Koni, was born in Libya in 1948. A Tuareg who writes in Arabic, he spent his childhood in the desert and learned to read and write Arabic when he was twelve. His novels Anubis (2005), Gold Dust (2008), and The Seven Veils of Seth (2009) were published by the American University in Cairo Press, and another novel, The Bleeding of the Stone, has also appeared in English. In 2008 he received the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Literature for his novel Nida’ ma kan ba‘idan (Calling the distant)..In 2010, he received in Cairo the Arab Novel Award and dedicated the value of the prize to the children of the Tuareg tribes from which he originally hails. William M. Hutchins, professor in the Philosophy and Religion Department at Appalachian State University, is the translator of Ibrahim al-Koni’s Anubis (AUC Press, 2005).
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